Aren't We All Drunken Monkeys?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Zippy Monkey by Philip Hay
"There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself." - Herman Melville


It's February. The new year's buzz has dialed down. I'm sitting here observing shadows dancing from swaying trees. Memories sit at the background of my mind. I love abandoned buildings for the nostalgia they represent. They used to be new and shiny too.

There's one just beside our house. It used to be the home for a family of four and their precious dog. Now it sits like a tomb. A ghost of a building with tall grass that rustles to the beating of the wind.

My two guarded cats catch a whiff of something and when their ears perked up and their eyes glistened, I imagine them seeing something I could not; a slither of a snake or worse, a ghost. The idea of a ghost is always scary than it is. I love spooking myself up.

The wind keeps blowing maniacally and at the distance, occasional fireworks paint the night sky bright. The sound is ridiculous and I dream of a time when fireworks cease to exist. What is the so fun about fiery explosions in the sky that kills random birds and scares cats, babies and old ladies.

It's a weird thing, this thing, we have for fireworks. Afar with the sound muffled by distance, they're alright, I guess. But that's selfish. Closer to it, when caught off guard, I'll be the one to throw curses, pray no birds get harmed and hide my cats. Do prayers help the birds that do get hit by the explosion? Nope.

Anyway, life on the outskirt of a sleepy town is ripe for observing little occurrences. In big cities where noise is the background, fireworks must seem like a musical highlight to the numbed ears of some.

Anyway, what in the world was I getting at? I'd meant to say that I like the soul-quivering deep quiet. Far from the man-made ear insults, it's easy to catch the creaks that usually get swallowed up. The bullshit that parades as good stuff. The lies that people tell themselves when they're out to impress.

This place has reached a point, where it is old and dusty. I remember the newness it once glowed with. The red soil that begged for greenery. This used to be a mountain amidst mountains in all its glory, intact and all green.

Now, it's organized green dotted with houses. Memories serve to remind that how it is isn't how it was. The contrast accentuated by the past makes me realize how subjective our individual's perception is. Same environment, different stories.

As a child, I was the sensitive one. Every child by different degrees, is like that. As we grow, we become accustomed to illusions sprinkled upon us by the way of the world.

Well yes, philosophizing isn't as charming when you're dirt poor, relying on kind gestures of perfect strangers for food to lace your starving acidic stomachs.

When your shirt's a hand-me-down, torn and stretched up and your face is giddy from playing in the sun, catching insects and stalking butterflies, all you know is the divine feeling of being alive and that nothing hurts. And then, time speeds up and we grow up.

And we start to want certain things.

Society is built on a battleground of physical bodies and bloated egos, trying the hardest to get a gobble on a sorry piece of that skinny pie. Happiness becomes something foreign and instead of being within us, it has to be pursued as some consolation prize after whatever deal is sealed.

Everybody wants the new and the shiny. The glittery and the majestic.

This idea is plenty old and rustic.

Happiness, viewed as a target, is forever tired and elusive just like the desire to avoid misery. Resist and submit. Conform and rebel. Believe and doubt. Adore and abhor.

We're always swinging on this circus pole like drunken monkeys. And even when we recognize the holy duality that throbs at the center of things, we never stop being drunks. Our flesh pulls us back into this buffoonery.

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shanaz@RS | 3:37 AM | Labels:

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